In what's becoming an all too familiar tale, the PlayStation 4 has topped the NPD hardware charts yet again. Sony's system was on top in the United States for the month of December, completing a clean sweep for the all-important Christmas period. This means that the Xbox One only managed to triumph over the Japanese giant's box twice in its home territory in 2015: April and October.

The platform holder, as it's wont to do these days, thanked its "fans and partners" for putting the PS4 on top in December, but was all too happy to turn the knife on its competitors, pointing out that its console was also the best-selling box in the USA across 2015 as a whole. Considering that America is widely regarded as Microsoft's one remaining stronghold, it's not exactly good news for the Redmond firm.

Irrespective, the industry as a whole continued to chug along, remaining flat compared to the previous year. Retail sales this December totalled $3.22 billion for the month, down one per cent from 2014's slightly more impressive $3.26 billion. That's likely due to the continued decline in PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales, which are really starting to tail off now around the world.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the best-selling game of the month, with Star Wars Battlefront and Fallout 4 rounding out the top three spots. NBA 2K16, Grand Theft Auto V, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, Minecraft, and FIFA 16 rounded out the top ten. Surprisingly, there was no room at all for Just Cause 3, which launched in early December to some critical acclaim.

Many predicted mid-way through 2015 that Microsoft's roster of exclusives would give it the edge over the Christmas period, but once again it's been proven that first-party releases don't move the needle quite as much as enthusiasts think. Sony, however, will be hoping that games like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End at least add to its momentum in 2016, as it no doubt assembles another third-party onslaught for the holiday season.

Top Ten Physical Retail Releases: December 2015

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  6. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  8. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  9. Minecraft: Story Mode: A Telltale Game Series (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  10. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)

[source venturebeat.com, via uk.ign.com]